Year of Projects, Year 2: Spinning, Take 1

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I had a bit of a cliffhanger in my last Year of Projects update (you might have missed it since it was hidden between pictures of yarn): would I be able to take the Basic Dropspindling class at the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival? It turns out that there was room for me.  But, um…  well, you can be the judge.

Is that what you call handspun?

Clearly, I have a long way to go before I can actually spin some yarn that anyone (myself included) would ever use.  While I did resist the urge to buy a stunningly beautiful hand made drop spindle from Hearthwise, I couldn’t stop myself from getting some super cool roving.  You know, for that day when I’m an accomplished spinner and stuff.


So from here on out, I’ll be relying on these spinning teachers: Abby Franquemont (via Respect the Spindle) and Maggie Casey (via Start Spinning).

If these don’t help, there’s always Drucilla Pettibone‘s Craftsy class.  I think spinning is something I’ll need to set aside a fair amount of time for (since a 90 minute class was definitely not enough!).  That probably means that my next self-guided spinning lesson will take place over Thanksgiving weekend or the break from work between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This seems as good a time as any to share an update on my general YOP progress so far.

1) Crochet 52 granny squares for charity. I’m furthest along here.  I have 25 blocks finished (I made 26 but one was frogged).

2) Knit my first complete pair of socks.  It appears I’m not a sock person.  My socks have stalled since the end of the Ravellenic Games.

3) Make my mom a special bedspread for her milestone birthday.  I might need a little help here.  I already started working on these squares … and then I realized there’s a Tree of Life crochet pattern.  I started thinking maybe I should switch to a Tree of Life project?  What do you think?  (If it helps you decide, the yarn is a little more cream and less yellow than it appears in the picture.)

4) Learn to spin.  See above for update.

5) Design my own Bruges lace pattern. Done!  I released Visit to the Kantcentrum this week.  If you’ve never done Bruges lace crochet before, there is a photo tutorial inside.  As a thank you to all my YOP friends for your support, you can download it for free on Ravelry with coupon code BrugesYOP (or by following this link) through October 31.

Visit to the Kantcentrum, a Bruges lace crochet pattern with a photo tutorial for newbies.

6) Learn overlay crochet. No progress yet.

7) Create my own hairpin lace pattern.  No progress yet.

8 ) Try double knitting. No progress yet.

9) Try domino (modular) knitting. I’ve looked over the book, and even had a false start.  Perhaps I should make a charity domino square?

10) Make a small project inspired by Pop Knitting: Bold Motifs Using Color & Stitch.  No progress yet.

11) Learn knit entrelac. No progress yet.

12) Design a crochet lace shawl pattern or recipe for my DC 37 crochet class students.  As I’ve mentioned before, this is actually finished.  The design has even been tested and edited.  You’ll just have to wait until it is ready for release…

For more Year of Projects posts, visit Come Blog-a-long on Ravelry.

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Year of Projects, Year 2: North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival 2012

This post contains affiliate links.

I scheduled today’s post because I’m teaching at the fourth annual North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival.   I had a great time last year, so I decided to return this year.  I taught a class on Friday and I’ll be teaching another one today.

The festival is in Ridgewood, New Jersey and I can get there pretty easily with New Jersey Transit and a short walk.  I took off from work on Friday and headed to the festival with plans to arrive a little after noon.  I started a new project during the ride, using a motif pattern from Granny Square Crochet: 35 Contemporary Projects Using Traditional Techniques.  (If you haven’t already, you can read my interview with author Catherine Hirst here.)

I got a wee bit lost during the walk from the train (thank goodness for smartphones and Google Maps), so I only had a few minutes to set up before my first class.  My new project was immediately pressed into service as a coaster – after all, I didn’t want to destroy the table!

After the class, I took a trip around the first floor to check out all the vendors.  I’ve been fairly good about decreasing my stash as part of my efforts to Surmount the Stash this year, but I brought cash to the festival and a plan to purchase as many as 5 skeins of yarn.

Yep, I met the quota.

My first stop was Mimi’s Needlebasket.  I’ve been dreaming about the Chiaogoo Twist RED Lace interchangeables since I learned of their existence and my eyes were drawn instantly to the sets on the table.  Unfortunately, she only had the mini kits in stock, and I’d like to buy the whole set, so I went on to the next table, Leilani Arts.  While I was really intrigued by the recycled sari yarn, I’m a sucker for tweeds and there was some very soft Donegal tweed on the table.  I couldn’t decide on colors, so I vowed to return later.

My next stop was WendyClay Pottery.  There were some AMAZING buttons, but I couldn’t think of a project I would make so I decided not to buy anything.  (Perhaps today will be my day?)  And then I found Yarn Monkey Productions.  Angela and her friend were just about the friendliest people I’ve ever met vending at a festival.  I had a great chat with Angela and fell in love with many of her colorways.  She was very tolerant of my complete indecisiveness and offered some tips.  I eventually settled on these two lovely skeins of superwash wool.

Two skeins of Yarn Monkey Productions SuperSaki, in colorways Anastasia (top) and Aella (bottom).

The colors don’t appear accurately on my monitor, but you can get the general idea.  I’m thinking that the Aella will end up as an accessory for me and the Anastasia is a possible gift or blanket motif.  (I’ve been dreaming of a superwash wool blanket for myself – that will definitely be a 2013 or later project!)

I then had a little moment of amazement at the Hearthwise booth.  There were all kinds of stunning drop spindles, which immediately brought to mind my YOP goal of learning to use a drop spindle.  I had a chance to chat with Jessica Suiter, the instructor teaching Basic Dropspindling at the festival, and it seems like she might have an extra spot for me in the class on Sunday (fingers crossed!).

Finally, I returned to Leilani Arts.  I decided to go with a charcoal and dark red combination.  I imagine this eventually turning into a shawl or wrap for me.

Imported Studio Donegal Soft (Merino) Donegal in Charcoal and Dark Red.

Even though I bought 5 skeins of yarn, I didn’t use my whole budget.  I still have $19 to spend, so perhaps there are some buttons in my future…

For more Year of Projects posts, visit Come Blog-a-long on Ravelry.

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.